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Re: (TFT) Open Source TFT

----- Original Message ----- From: "Joe Hartley" <jh@brainiac.com>
To: <tft@brainiac.com>

I've been dealing with open source software for a long time, and have
followed copyright threads on software, music and gaming forums for

One huge caveat I'll throw out here is that it's generally not enough to
just go through and change things line by line based on the original,
since you've still derived your work from a copyrighted source.

Part of the problem is that copyright law is very messy and fact-based. I didn't express what I meant very well. I don't mean to say that we merely change every sentence. Rather, I am suggesting that we re-express every TFT rule with original language.

That is, you can't take a line
 "Roll three six-sided dice and add them up"
and change it to be
 "Take the total from rolling three six-sided dice"
and have that really be considered a new work if you're doing it sequentially
for every line in the original.

Other than that, good luck, and count me in!!

Well, I will continue to refine my legal analysis, which is one reason why I absolutely don't want anyone relying on my musings as legal advice. My current take is that (for instance) "Roll three dice and if the total is less than your DX, you hit" is a copyrighted sentence. To simply repeat this sentence verbatim might constitute copyright infringement. But I do not think that the mechanic -- roll 3d6 vs DX to hit -- can be copyrighted. So a changed sentence that expressed the same mechanic should not infringe on one's copyright -- "Roll three dice and add them up. If the total is equal to or less than you DX, you hit the target." And even a verbatim sentence might not constitute infringement -- there may not be a good way to restate it. But if we restate every single rule, we go a long ways towards avoiding any unintentional copyright infringement.

--Ty =====
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